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The Mask of Masculinity Summary

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

I have been watching Lewis Howes’s podcast for a long time now and I love that dude. He always comes as a very genuine person to me and definitely is one of my role models. When I heard that he has a book called “The Mask of Masculinity” I had no choice but to pick up and read it. I totally loved the book and as a man, there were a lot of things I learned that could help me in my life. Lewis thinks that the way we define masculinity isn't helping men do well in life. For example, men don't do as well as women in school, they might not be as good at socializing, and most of the violent crimes are done by men, not women. Unlike women, men often don't ask for help when they need it. Lewis says that the idea of masculinity isn't really helping men be happy or successful. He says that if men stop pretending to be something they're not, they could feel better, do better, and be more successful. In this summary, I’ll share with you three key lessons that I learned from the book.

Key Lesson #1: Men live life obeying culture’s rules of what it means to be a man.

We all grow up with this idea of what it means to be a man. Like being tough, not showing emotions, and always having to act strong and in control. Lewis talks about how guys often live their lives trying to follow these cultural rules about what being a man is supposed to be like. Think about it – from a young age, guys are told not to cry or show any kind of vulnerability. They're supposed to be competitive, not back down, and always be on top. And as they get older, this idea keeps influencing their choices, like the careers they pick, how they interact with others, and even how they handle their own feelings. But here's the thing: Lewis points out that this whole "manly" image can actually be pretty harmful. It might make guys feel like they can't express their emotions, ask for help when they need it, or do things they're interested in if those things aren't seen as traditionally manly. This can lead to guys feeling trapped, like they have to wear a mask to fit in and be accepted. Lewis says that if guys start questioning these cultural rules and stop pretending to be someone they're not, they could actually feel better and live more fulfilling lives. By dropping this idea of having to always be tough and in control, guys could open up to their true feelings, connect with others on a deeper level, and become better versions of themselves.

Key Lesson #2: The masks we wear to appear manly ultimately make us weaker and unhappy.

We all feel that sometimes we have to put on this tough, strong, and unemotional act to show that we are a man. Lewis says that these "masks" we wear to seem manly can actually backfire on us. Imagine this: you're always trying to act like you have it all together, like you're never bothered by anything, and you're always in control. But deep down, you might be feeling totally different – maybe you're stressed, sad, or struggling with something. By pretending everything's okay when it's not, you're putting on a mask. Lewis says wearing these masks doesn't make us stronger; in fact, it can make us weaker. When we hide our true feelings and don't let ourselves be vulnerable, it can be really tough on our mental and emotional well-being. We might start feeling disconnected from our real selves and from others, and that can lead to unhappiness.

Key Lesson #3: Dropping the masks will free us to be ourselves and become better persons.

So as a man, we sometimes feel that we have to act a certain way just to fit in or be seen as "normal". Lewis says if we stop pretending and drop these masks we wear, it can actually make us feel way better and help us become better people. Imagine this: you're pretending to be super confident and strong, even when you're not really feeling that way. It's like you're wearing a mask of confidence. But here's the thing – when we wear these masks, we're not being true to ourselves. We're not letting our real personalities shine through. Lewis says that when we take off these masks, it's like setting ourselves free. We can show the world who we really are. And guess what? That's a good thing! By being real and genuine, we can connect with people on a deeper level. We can build stronger friendships and relationships because people are getting to know the real us, not just some image we're trying to project. Plus, when we're not busy pretending to be someone we're not, we can focus on becoming better versions of ourselves. We can work on our strengths, improve our weaknesses, and grow as individuals. It's like a weight lifted off our shoulders, and we can finally be comfortable in our own skin.

So, in summary, Lewis says that the current notion of masculinity is harmful to men. Most men act according to what the surrounding culture says about what it means to be a man. They wear masks to appear manly, but ultimately this makes them weak and unhappy. And finally, if they decide to drop this mask, men can become happier and better people by being true to themselves.

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